Bulk uploads in Sharp, the right way

June 13, 2021

We just released version 6.3 of Sharp for Laravel, with a feature that was expected since a long time: the ability to upload multiple files at once.

This feature seems pretty straightforward, at first: it is very common and implemented in many CMS. But Sharp isn’t a CMS, really, so let’s start with what we didn’t want:

Unwanted solution #1: add a “media library” of some kind

We could have a space somewhere where we can upload and organize files, to be afterwards browsed and chosen in entities. But this is not the way Sharp is designed: we don’t want to force any kind of organization, of data storage… Sharp is a tool that the developer can use the way he wants for the project he’s working on: and if he needs a root “media library” entity with files, browsable through an autocomplete elsewhere, and it can be built.

Unwanted solution #2: add a new dedicated form field

A new form field seems to be a simple solution. Maybe it could be namedSharpFormUploadListField , with an item which contains only one field, an Upload. After all, there is already a field like that, SharpFormAutocompleteListField (see here), but in fact the use case is very different. What if we need for each item a visual and a legend, which is a very common pattern? This would have been a solution quite easy to implement, but not very useful.

Chosen solution: just add a configuration method

Finally, the held solution is to use a regular SharpFormListField, and to add a coupe of API methods to configure the bulk option:

->setLabel("Additional pictures")

The two important methods are:

  • allowBulkUploadForField("file"): the argument must be the key of an upload field of the item.
  • setBulkUploadFileCountLimitAtOnce(6): optionally, we can set the limit on parallel uploads (default is 10).

And then, Sharp will render the list like this:

This solution seems quite good to us, since it’s:

  • customizable: you could choose the upload field, it would work even for items with two uploads for instance.
  • Respecting Sharp way of doing things: from the Sharp project code perspective, the fact the user use bulk upload or not to fill is form does not change anything.
  • Backward compatible with previous configuration methods: max items count, file filters…
  • And very straightforward to use both as a Sharp developer and as a Sharp user, thanks to the work of aguingand on the frond end code and UX.

The related documentation is here; if you need more information of Sharp itself, start here, and as always feel free to reach me on twitter if you have questions or remarks.

Philippe Lonchampt


Philippe Lonchampt